By switching to solar energy you can make big savings on your energy bills long-term. Find out more about what’s involved.
Thanks to our sunny climate, more and more Australians are turning to solar energy to combat rising energy bills and to help reduce their environmental footprint.
Solar is now the largest source of renewable energy in Australia, with one in four Australian homes using solar, which is the highest uptake in the world.
Aus Solar Co, a national retailer that has installed over 200,000 solar panels to date, experienced higher demand than ever before in the last financial year due to extended lockdowns.
“It’s definitely increased. People are at home and they’ve got time to actually research and come to a decision,” said Jesse King, co-founder of Aus Solar Co.
Solar panels work simply by absorbing the light of the sun to produce energy.
“If you’ve got solar panels on your roof they are going to generate energy from the sun so you don’t have to purchase energy,” King said.
Cost and environmental benefits of solar energy
It’s well known that solar is a more environmentally-friendly alternative to non-renewable energy resources such as coal, oil and gas. Generating electricity from solar panels doesn’t produce any greenhouse gases and can therefore have a positive, indirect effect on the environment.
But not only that, solar can help achieve dramatic savings when it comes to household energy bills. King says the average person can save 70-80% on their energy bills with solar, and with energy costs on the rise, he believes this is a major motivator. Who doesn’t want to save money on their energy bills?
“Your energy bill will likely go up every single year — that’s happened the last 20-something years — there’s really only one way to get away from that, and that’s to generate your own,” he said.
“We estimate we’ve helped Australians save over $15 million on their energy bills.”
Is your home suitable for solar panels?
The number one requirement for solar is a roof. It may sound obvious, but King says there’s still a lot of requests from people living in apartments, and unfortunately it just doesn’t work in these cases.
“It needs to be a freestanding house; townhouses are fine and duplexes,” he said.
Secondly, the home needs to have electricity. Aus Solar Co evaluates the electricity bills from a period of 12 months to understand energy usage in the home throughout the seasons and asks questions in relation to any future additional energy needs, such as that of a growing family.
The customer will also need to provide the national metre identification (NMI) number, which can be found on an electricity bill.
“It’s essentially the fingerprints of the house. Before we install any system, we have to do a pre-approval with the distributor; we handle all the paperwork between the customer and their energy retailer,” King said.
Choosing the right solar panel for your home
When it comes to selecting solar panels for the home, there’s a huge variety in the market and it can be difficult to know what to choose.
“There’s everything from poly panels to mono panels, which is the newer technology, and they come in all different sizes and wattages,” King said.
“The higher wattage panels cost more but if the customer had a smaller roof space, then we would use them to give them a maximum benefit, if they needed it, which would give a better return on investment long term.”
Aus Solar Co does a thorough consultation ahead of installation to ensure that the customer is getting the right option for their needs that will stand the test of time.
“Our performance warranty is 30 years so we want to make sure that what we’re recommending is going to work for that period of time,” King said.
Using BNPL to manage the cost of solar panels
Solar panel installation usually takes half a day but in the case of an old, brittle roof it could take longer. Kings says the cost for installation of solar panels on an average 3-bed home sits between $6,000-$15,000, depending on whether there are any additional upgrades needed and the quality of the panels that the customer is looking for.
BNPL can be a helpful tool to cover the cost of this big-ticket item upfront, to help you make savings in the long term.
Humm partners with a large range of solar providers including Aus Solar Co, Smart Energy and PowerSmart, and can be used to make purchases of up to $30,000.